October 1, 2016
Enjoyed the chance to sleep in before beginning our daily adventure. We managed the gift of a bottle of Shabbat sweet wine with our breakfast. Too sweet for my taste but it was drunk in the spirit of the toast “Locheim” or “To Life”. Out the door and on the beachfront promenade for what turned out to be a three mile stroll along the sea to reach the ancient seaport of Jaffa or Yafo in Hebrew. Today is Shabbat, the day of rest, so most stores except those run by Christians and Muslims will be closed. Peggy and Audrey are still hopeful.
The beaches are full of frolicking folks with kids, dogs and every imaginable form of transportation for the water and the sidewalk. We managed to navigate through the bikes (electric and otherwise) as well as the skateboards and Pokemon-go players without mishap. We did manag to have a people jam in the narrow alleys of Jaffa. Contrary to our previous belief, dogs of all sizes and breeds are alive and well in Tel Aviv. This being the day of rest, we saw no Hasidic Jews but plenty of others wearing beach wear that you would see on a California beach. The few Muslim women in their Hajibs looked some what uncomfortable but seemed to be enjoying themselves.The Muslim men are indistinguishable from the Israelis and seem to hang back from their women folk.This is just my observation. We did not see a Jewish cap all day long. I conclude that the Tel Aviv beach is not Jerusalem.
We reached Jaffa and its port. In brief, it is one of the oldest seaports in the world. Canaanites and Philistines we using this place over 4,000 years ago. Tradition has it that One of Noah’s sons founded the place. It was also cruise port that Jonah used before meeting the whale. We found the concrete whale a little later. We even a camel that liked Audrey.The port was conquered and owned by a vast array including Napoleon. We enjoyed the waterfront that had been built by the British and was the sight of memorable events when Holocaust surviving Jews tried to enter their Promised Land. None of that is too apparent today. Instead the “Old Jaffa” exudes Mediterranean charm and vibrancy. We did finds some open shops and excellent Gelato shops. After poking around, we visited St. Peter’s church and more importantly we found the humble dwelling of Simon the Tanner. It was there that Peter got the word that whatever God creates is good and that there are no unclean animals (like pigs) and that Peter should work on converting Gentiles to the Way.
After the walk back, Peggy and I went for another swim. It was enjoyable except for the persistent nibbling by the Mediterranean piranhas that plagued me. I guess they only like tough old meat as the young folks surrounding us did not seem bothered at all.